Despite nanocrystals being excellent solar material candidates, quantum dot solar cells only acquire a power conversion efficiency of around 10%, limited by low infrared absorption coefficients and non-radiative recombination processes. While optimal doping has been shown to increase overall solar cell efficiency through IR harvesting and suppression of non-radiative recombination processes, over doping can cause recombination losses or reduce efficiency through lattice deformation. Thus, it is important to have precise control of dopants. My research will focus on developing novel processing techniques to incorporate dopants more efficiently and cost effectively into earth abundant and nontoxic semiconductor nanocrystals. I plan to use metal quantum clusters as nucleation sources to control the number of dopants in each nanocrystal, as opposed to the typical Poisson distribution obtained via most techniques. This controlled doping would not only enhance quantum dot solar cell efficiency, but would provide additional insight into the fundamentals of doped nanocrystals.
Advisor: Vince Holmberg – Chemical Engineering